200,000 YouTube hits later, Derek has the latest news on the cat who has adopted the ducklings on the farm in Clara. Katriona meets the 'Scoodoos' – ancient tree spirits who are currently visiting Ireland. Conor Faughnan from the AA has the latest motoring news. And Colin Stafford-Johnson lets us in on Tthe Secret Life Of The Shannon...
Over the course of 24 hours, from 5pm last Friday until 5pm last Saturday, a biological survey took place in four locations across Ireland: Wicklow Mountains National Park, Burren National Park, Lough Key Forest Park and Colebrooke Estate in Fermanagh. The television coverage was fronted by Sinéad Kennedy, Derek Mooney and Colin Stafford-Johnson (pictured above). A huge thank-you to the 180 scientists and recorders who worked to identify so many species, and congratulations to the winners, who were Colebrooke Estate!
You can find out more about the BioBlitz by visiting http://bioblitz.biodiversityireland.ie/.
Last Thursday, we were the first to bring you the extraordinary story of Ronan and Emma Lally’s ‘White Cat’.
She had adopted three ducklings on the Lally’s farm in Clara in Co Offaly – and was actually breast feeding them.
If you don’t believe us have a look!
This first one that Katriona shot last Thursday night (which, by the way, has now got over 205,000 views on YouTube!! And counting!!)
AND a more up-to-date video that was filmed by the Lally’s friend Maura Cunningham over the weekend that shows Day Six in the life of these little ducklings.
Well we’re all just dying to know how this relationship is progressing and Ronan Lally is on the phone now from his home in Clara, Co Offaly, as is vet Andrew Byrne, and Niall Hatch from BirdWatch Ireland joins us in studio.
Last night’s The Secret Life of the Shannon was the first of two new programmes on RTÉ One about the River Shannon, beautifully filmed by Emmy-award winning wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson, who is with us in studio today!
To watch the first episode back again on the RTÉ Player, click here.
The second and final episode will be broadcast next Sunday, June 2nd, on RTÉ One at 6.30pm.
The recent row between the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and TD Mick Wallace was around the issue of penalty points. We’re not going to talk about the rights and wrongs of that argument here but the latest figures we have for the numbers of drivers who are getting penalty points shows a decrease. So good news then? Drivers are getting the message and they’re changing their behaviour? Maybe that’s not quite the case though...
Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy with AA Ireland is in studio to explain...
Our reporter Katriona McFadden is in studio with Derek, and with her is a 'creature' made out of twigs – a 'Scoodoo'! It's a 'tree spirit', and is apparently communicating with Derek right now!
Every Scoodoo is different; the one in studio is quite small, but when Katriona travelled to Mayo she saw several big Scoodoos – some the size of people - and they are showing up in all manner of places. There was one on the Charlestown roundabout for example, they have shown up on the side of the N17, they’ve come to Dublin.
Ciaran Burke and his Finnish wife Hannah run The Garden School in Ballaghdereen, and they are responsible for bringing them to life. They’re making them and putting them in strange places to get people talking – and they just found out they’ll be exhibiting at BLOOM in Phoenix Park this year! So Katriona went to Mayo to meet them... For more information about scoodoos, visit http://scoodoos.com/.
Hedgerows and the Law
Hedgerows in Ireland form important features in maintaining wildlife diversity and in establishing wildlife "corridors", particularly for birds. The commonest nesting birds found in hedgerows such as wrens, dunnocks, robin and willow warblers depend entirely on insects during the Summer months. In general untrimmed, thorned hedgerows containing species such as blackthorn, whitethorn and holly are favoured by birds as they provide ample food and also serve as a protection against predators.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the 2000 Act, provides protection for hedgerows by providing that it shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions. It is important that, where possible, necessary work to hedgerows is carried out outside this period.
It is possible in most cases to schedule and carry out necessary work to hedgerows outside this period. The legislation makes provision for works (other than road or other construction works) to be carried out for reasons of public health and safety under the authority of any Minister or a body established by statute that lead to the destruction of vegetation. There is also a provision to enable the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request from the relevant Minister or body details of any such works together with a statement of the public health and safety factors involved.
It shall not be an offence to destroy vegetation in the ordinary course of agriculture or forestry. Also it shall not be illegal to destroy vegetation while preparing or clearing a site for lawful building or construction works.
It is the policy of the Minister to prosecute for offences under section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 and 2000 and successful prosecutions have been taken under this section in recent years. Members of the public are encouraged to contact their local wildlife ranger and report instances where hedgerows are being destroyed during the prohibited period.
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Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.
If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie